Delayed bike share program rolls out with limited bicycles
Published Wednesday, July 20, 2016 8:18AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 20, 2016 2:37PM PDT
The City of Vancouver has rolled out its delayed $5-million bike share program with just a fraction of the bikes that are supposed to be on the roads.
Only about 260 Mobi bikes are in place at some stations and ready to ride, and there are still a number of empty bike racks around town.
When the city announced the program, it said to expect 1,000 of the share bikes at 100 locations by mid-June, and 1,500 bikes at 150 stations by the fall.
After the deadline passed, Mayor Gregor Roberton said the program would be rolled out in stages over the summer months.
The city has also extended its initial offer for annual memberships.
At the moment, only annual memberships are available on the Mobi website with rates starting at $90 with the initial discount. Discounts for "founding members" ends July 31.
The city says 1,300 memberships have been purchased so far, although it's still unclear how many memberships are needed for the program to break even.
"It'll be a good soft launch for the system," said Robertson.
"We want to make sure the system rolls out smoothly and free of glitches...and I think this is a good way to do that."
The regular price will range from $180 to $240 per year – more than double the cost of a similar program in Seattle that has struggled to attract riders.
That program recently received a $1.4-million bailout from the city.
With so many bikes stolen each year in the city, Vancouverite Samantha Remphal said the convenience might make the bike share a better option than worrying about your own.
"Getting stolen...or where are you going to lock it up if you have to go somewhere? If these are all around town and you can just lock it up right outside where you're going then it's perfect," she said.
This is Vancouver's second foray into bike share. A program with Bixi Bikes was halted in 2014 over the company's financial woes.
With a report from CTV Morning Live’s Ben Miljure